While the BJP supporters were raising slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress workers raised slogans 'Chowkidar Chor Hain'.
Several prominent candidates including former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and cricketer-tuned-politician Gautam Gambhir filed their nominations for the May 12 Lok Sabha polls in Delhi on Tuesday, the last day to enter the fray. Many of the candidates took out road shows in the scorching heat in their constituencies before filing their nominations.
All seven candidates of the Congress — former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, former Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Agarwal, former Union minister Ajay Maken, Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia, former Cong MP Mahabal Mishra along Dikshit and Singh filed their papers. BJP candidates Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans, sitting MP from South Delhi Lok Sabha constituency Ramesh Bidhuri and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi filed their nominations besides Gambhir.
Talking to reporters, Dikshit, who has been fielded from North-East Delhi, said, “I have sentiments attached to this seat as I had fought my first election in Delhi from this seat.” When asked whom she considers a bigger challenge between Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and AAP candidate Dilip Pandey, the Congress veteran said she sees both of them as a challenge and her endeavour will be to win from this seat. “No seat is small or big and it does not belong to any individual. It belongs to the people of the constituency,” she said.
Dikshit had contested from East Delhi constituency in 1998, but faced defeat. The seat included parts of North-East Delhi at that time. Talking to reporters, Gambhir, who has been pitted against Lovely and AAP’s Atishi Marlena from East Delhi, said that he is focusing on winning and not on his rival candidates.
“My aim is to make East Delhi one of the best parts of the city after winning the polls,” he told reporters. “I am beginning an innings of honesty under leadership of Narendra Modi. I have no competition with other candidates in the fray and I am here to share my vision with people of East Delhi. I am going to the people with a positive agenda,” he said.
When Gambhir reached the East Delhi District Office for filing his nomination papers, there was a verbal duel between his supporters and that of Lovely. While the BJP supporters were raising slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress workers raised slogans ‘Chowkidar Chor Hain’.
Vijender Singh, who is contesting from South Delhi, said he will focus on issues related youth and sports. “I am genuinely concerned about employment, which I think is a prominent issue for the youth. And being a sportsperson, I am also keen on working towards developing sports infrastructure. It’s about time we had good infrastructure so that budding athletes can actually flourish,” he said. Asked why he opted for the Congress, which did not win a single seat in Delhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Vijender Singh said: “I relate to the ideology and the leadership.”
“As is propagated by our leadership, I want to be a friend of the electorate. I don’t wish to be the ‘neta’ that visits once in five years. I am not going to do rallies or road shows. I am going to connect with the voters spontaneously,” Singh said. Delhi is witnessing a triangular fight involving the Congress, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in this Lok Sabha election. All seven seats in the city will go to polls in the sixth phase on May 12.